The Ani-Men were an organization of human/animal hybrids.
They were the former board members of the bankrupt corporation, Repli-Tech Industries. When Repli-Tech's CEO Rex Rogan discovered that the company was going under, he had his top scientist, Doctor Lovecraft, use an experimental DNA treatment to transform Rex and the others into powerful beast men. Rex became a lion-man, his assistant and lover Irena, became a cat-woman named Reena. Others were transformed into rhinocerous-men, whale-men, lizard-men, scorpion-men, etc.
Naming himself Maximus Rex, Rogan provided his Ani-Men with the glory and power that he had promised them. He opened a private stadium called the Arena, where the Ani-Men would participate in bloody gladiatorial combat. Maximus Rex presided over the festivities to an audience filled with the wealthiest elite the city of New York had to offer. Rex himself would also engage in combat, but always as the main event of the evening.
Reena, eventually grew sickened with what happened to her and the others. Betraying her lover, she sought sanctuary with the Justice League of America. She told the League about Rex and the Ani-Men and the League fought up against the Ani-Men on at least three separate occasions. The Ani-Men proved powerful though and League members Elongated Man, the Flash and Hawkman all suffered severe injuries.
What Rex and the others didn't know however, was that the process that gave them their animal powers, was also robbing them of their humanity. They eventually devolved into a completely animalistic state. The League determined that the Ani-Men were now just normal animals and no longer presented a threat to humanity. They left them to eke out their own lives on a small island off the coast of Newfoundland.
- Not to be confused with the Un-Men.